Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Peeni Henare today announced the investment of over $5 million to grow New Zealand’s social enterprise sector.

The funding will be administered over four years by the Department of Internal Affairs, which has partnered with Ākina Foundation to develop a programme focused on expanding the country’s social enterprise market, assisting those already involved, and building business capability.

“Social enterprises make a significant contribution to our communities by reinvesting their profits to meet social, environmental and economic need,” says Mr Henare.

“I’m excited to see Ākina and the department fully explore the potential of social enterprises here in New Zealand. It will encourage investment and, ultimately, benefit Kiwis.”

Six suppliers submitted proposals to become the key strategic partner, as part of an open Government procurement process initiated earlier this year. An inter-agency evaluation panel, including representatives from the Department of Internal Affairs, Ministry for Business, Innovation and Enterprise and the Social Investment Agency, reviewed all proposals.

“Ākina met the criteria of being a thought leader and educator in the sector, with strong connections regionally, nationally and internationally,” says Mr Henare. “I am looking forward to working with Ākina and supporting social enterprise to make a positive difference within communities far and wide.”